Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GLUTTONY (overindulgence and overconsumption) (01/15/15)
- TITLE: King Blimp And The Riddle He Couldn’t Solve
By JK Stenger
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But what many do not know is that Gothopotamia was not always like this. Around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, wicked Gothopotamians, who served only their bellies, ruled Gothopatamia. They were true gluttons.
But all that changed in the year 534. These were the days of King Blimp VII, a king so obese that craftsmen had to build special supports for his throne.
King Blimp loved riddles. He was always seeking people who could give him a riddle, as it was his greatest pleasure to solve them while he ate.
One day, when King Blimp was gorging on bacon, his chamberlain announced, “Lady Clarissa is standing at the gate.”
Lady Clarissa was the wisest person in the land. Some claimed she was the only wise person. But King Blimp didn’t like her visits. On those days, he forgot to chew his food, and ate his fingernails. She would walk in with wide steps and approached him with ease.
“What does she want?” he demanded, grease trickling down his chin.
“She claims she has a riddle.”
“A riddle?” The King felt his heart pounding. His mouth got dry. “Bring her in! Call for my wise men.”
When Lady Clarissa entered the room, the king eyed her in amazement and stopped eating. He had forgotten how beautiful she was. Her penetrating blue eyes rested on him and shone with a light that he did not recognize. She gently bowed and spoke slow and deliberate. “Greetings, King Blimp.”
King Blimp’s hands smoothed his kingly robe and he looked down. For a moment a feeling of envy shot through his body, but he quickly regained his composure, and took a bite of a pork chop
Then he burped and said, “What’s your riddle?”
Lady Clarissa lifted up her voice. “O King, no living man understands the mysteries of this world as you do.”
The king smiled.
“However, the greatest of all mysteries, that of the means to establish a righteous government, has thus far eluded you. If you can’t solve my riddle, I shall demand that you heed my advice.”
The king sneered. “I can solve any riddle. But if I can’t, I’ll grant your wish.”
Then Lady Clarissa spoke.
“The first ruler of Gothopotamia was also a glutton. He was so fat that he couldn’t even walk. He died of overeating in the year 215.
King Blimp held his breath. “And then? Tell me!”
“Then he died,” Lady Clarissa smirked. “But he was buried in the year 214. How, O King, is that possible?”
Beads of sweat formed on the King’s forehead. He didn’t know. He could not solve the riddle, nor could any of his advisors.
The King locked himself in his chambers, hoping to find the answer. So engrossed was he in the problem, that he actually neglected to take meals.
When he emerged two weeks later from his chambers, he still had not found the answer and called for Lady Clarissa.
“Tell me the answer.”
All eyes were on Lady Clarissa.
“O King, you overlooked the Son of Heaven, who demands righteousness from all. As you know our calendar has started in the year zero, which was His birth. However the first ruler of our land lived long before His birth in the year 215 BC. He died a year later, in 214 BC.
There was shouting and screaming.
“It’s not fair! The King has been tricked!”
The King’s body collapsed on the throne, while his hands covered his face. Then he spoke with a lifeless voice, “No, the riddle is fair. What’s your request?”
No one made a sound.
Lady Clarissa took a deep breath and spoke, “I want everyone in Gothopotamia to go on a diet. Let nobody serve the God of his belly any longer, but study the ways of righteousness.”
“What’s a diet?” someone shouted.
“I want everyone in Gothopotamia to cease committing the sin of gluttony.”
From that day forward, things started to change in Gothopotamia and it became the prosperous country it is today. King Blimp lost weight and married Lady Clarissa.
They lived long and happily ever after, until the year 578 AC when King Blimp died peacefully in his sleep.
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